Men’s Chorus Philosophy: Esse Quam Videri

Posted February 12th, 2012 with 1 Comment

This is the first in a series of posts about the philosophy that guides the BYU Men’s
Chorus. We use these principles to guide us in our singing and our lives outside the
auditorium. I hope that it will be an illuminating look at what happens behind the scenes,
and maybe provide some inspiration to live life the BYU Men’s Chorus Way.

During our concerts you can see a crest emblazoned over the heart of every man. Besides
making us look dashing and uniform, our crest also reminds us of our core principle.
Esse Quam Videri; it is Latin for “Being what you seem” or “To be rather than to seem.”
It is a reminder that we need to be true to ourselves and all that we stand for.

While it is a simple statement, it is a difficult thing to do. While no man is perfect,
to be true is an exhortation to be our best. To approach that unobtainable goal is a
difficult road that entails pushing ourselves to do our best. Not just when rehearsing and
performing, but in every aspect of our lives. The way we live our own personal lives will
have an effect on how we perform. As Sister Hall likes to tell us, “Being excellent is the
most fun.”

Most Wednesdays after we warm up, someone will get up and explain how they use Esse
Quam Videri in their own life. Often they use scripture or anecdotes to give the Latin
phrase more meaning. My personal favorite comes from the great bard, Shakespeare, in
Hamlet, “This above all: to thine own self be true, And it must follow, as night the day,
Though canst not then be false to any man.”

I don’t think I can phrase it any better. May we all be truer to ourselves and our fellow
man. Esse Quam Videri!

Posted in General
Written by BYU Men's Chorus


02.24.2012 at 10:08 am


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